Tracts are simple, inexpensive flyers that summarize a certain topic.
Tracts can be used in many ways.
- Handed out to people with a particular question
- Useful in training people to answer questions of others.
- Reminders of Orthodox teaching.
Download an example "Do you believe in Santa"
What is a TRACT? How can they be used for training and evangelism?
Tracts have been around for a long time. Tracts have been used as a successful tool in communicating pertinent information in a concise, clear format to people of all age groups. Evangelicals have used them for years with great success. Tracts are inexpensive “throwaway” tools to be given out freely. Orthodox Christians can use them as well, but in a s different way. The goal in using tracts is to enable the communication of basic Orthodox doctrines and to teach these truths to the Orthodox so that they in turn can easily pass the information on to others. If Orthodox are better equipped to answer questions simply and concisely, they also will feel comfortable sharing this information with others, even Non-Orthodox.
Someone once said that there are 2 areas to avoid when talking to someone…Politics and Religion. But, if you think of the topic of Religion as Life Style, you are actually talking about it all the time. The simple question “What did you do this weekend?” can reveal how you spent your leisure time and what your interests are. Where you spend your leisure time reveals your priorities in life. Did you read a book, go to Church, visit some friends, care for your family, or spend time with others that you enjoy? Orthodoxy is many things, but wouldn’t you agree that it is a lifestyle? Using tracts as a tool to augment conversations with friends and family will provide interesting information and growth in both knowledge and faith.
Especially when talking to Non-Orthodox, do not be confrontational. Always be respectful. Your job is to present the information, and teach, not argue. Most people cannot articulate their faith easily and will turn you off if you are confrontational, argumentative, or judgmental in your attitude. Allow them to decide for themselves. Allow them to process the information. Don’t press for a decision but develop a relationship.
Here are some suggestions for the use of tracts.
1. Read and understand the tract yourself. Additional reading on a topic may be necessary, but the basics should be covered in the tract. If you have questions, ask your priest or other mature Orthodox friends.
2. Share the information in the tract with someone else. “Did you know all this?” “Here is some information that may be helpful in understanding what Orthodox Christians believe. Read this later and tell me what you think about it?”
3. Present the information as historical. This is the Historical Church.
4. Few people understand our terms. Liturgy, Theotokos, Creed and many other words are not part of the average person’s vocabulary. Since these words are important to understand and in most cases have deep meanings, you must be able to explain what they mean. It is ok to uses your experiences to explain these terms. Orthodoxy is experiential.
5. Put tracts out where people can see them and take them.
6. At home, keep tract out on a coffee table or a place where people see it
7. At Church, set tracts out so that members and visitors can easily pick one up.
8. Send as an attachment to email friends.
9. Mail to visitors of your parish or those that have not been attending regularly.
10. When you are talking with others, LISTEN to them and to what they are interested in. Remember the tract subjects and offer them a tract on the subject to consider. This may be their first introduction to Orthodox Christianity.
11. For people inquiring about Orthodoxy, ask them “What is your religious background?”
12. Ask them, “How do people worship at your church? Are you curious as to how Christians worshipped in the first century?”
13. Use them for your Catechumen Classes.
14. Use them for Youth Group meetings.
15. Use them for Sunday School material.
16. Use them at home to teach your children.
17. Use them for a Seminar.
18. Use them in role playing activities.